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Intellectual Property

Dec 2023

Federal Court Dismisses Copyright Lawsuit Against Friends, Sex and the City, Other Shows

Elizabeth A. McNamara and Meenakshi Krishnan

The Court found that no lay observer could find any substantial similarities between the protectible material of Lee’s work and the four shows.

Nov 2023

California Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment for Defendants in Ad Astra Copyright / Idea Theft Case

David Aronoff and Josh Bornstein

Plaintiff alleged that Ad Astra infringed his copyright in and stole ideas from his unproduced spec screenplay entitled Cosmic Force. However, in granting summary judgment the Court ruled that these claims failed to raise genuine issues warranting a trial.

Oct 2023

Federal Court Holds that Incidental Capture of Photos in Background of Documentary Film is Fair Use

Adam Rich and Samuel Bayard

This decision will be helpful to documentary filmmakers who incidentally capture copyrighted works while documenting actions and events that are of legitimate public concern.

Sep 2023

Federal Court in Tiger King Case Cites Warhol in Dismissing Copyright Claim Against Netflix

Anthony Doherty

Despite some gloom and doom about the future of fair use after the Supreme Court’s decision in Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. v. Goldsmith last May, it seems that for documentary film makers at least, fair use is in roaring good health.

Aug 2023

D.C. Federal Court Says AI Generated Art Not Copyrightable

Alycia S. Tulloch

After the years-long saga surrounding whether a two-dimensional piece of artwork created by Dr. Thaler’s Creativity Machine could be registered as a copyright, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a final order stating that machine generated artwork is not copyrightable.

Jul 2023

“Server Test” Is Reaffirmed (For Now) in Hunley v. Instagram

Jim Rosenfeld and Raphael Holoszyc-Pimentel

The server test has been the law in the Ninth Circuit since 2007, but in recent years it has come under attack in lower courts in other jurisdictions.

Jul 2023

Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith Roundtable Discussion

Caren Decter, David Korzenik and Mickey Osterreicher

The decision has been controversial and has received mixed reviews within the copyright bar, so MLRC convened an expert roundtable to weigh-in.

May 2023

“Metabirkins” NFT Trial Tests Multiple Legal Theories

Toby Butterfield and Stephanie Smith

Hermes International sought legal remedies against Los Angeles artist Mason Rothschild for his creation and sale of NFTs, without obtaining Hermes’ authorization, depicting digital images of revised versions of Hermes’ iconic “Birkin” handbag.

Apr 2023

Internet Archive Slammed in Decision Rejecting Mass Distribution of Unlicensed Ebooks Under ‘Controlled Digital Lending’ Theory

Jack Browning, Linda Steinman and Liz McNamara

Judge Koeltl delivered a decision definitively characterizing Internet Archive’s actions as brazen copyright infringement.

Mar 2023

Agent of “Notorious RBG” Photographer Lacks Statutory Copyright Standing

Amanda Barkin

The art world’s obsession with using RBG as its muse, lives on. As does legal controversy that surrounds that art and its reproduction.